Friday, May 30, 2014

My External Version Experience

So before the memories fade, I thought I'd share my experience since there might be someone out there who wants to to know.  My baby has been in the breech position since the 20 week anatomy scan. I had been praying he would flip, but he didn't. I even went to the spinning babies website and tried the exercises to see if he would flip.  He seemed perfectly content with his head wedged in the my ribs on my right side.  Since I've had one c-section and one VBAC, my hope was to have another VBAC. The recovery was so much easier and my VBAC experience was so wonderful! My only option was to try an external cephalic version. This procedure is where the try to turn the baby from outside my belly. I, of course, consulted Dr. Google before agreeing to this procedure and watched numerous videos on YouTube. My doctor prefers to do the version with an epidural for two reasons- 1. because this procedure is quite painful and 2. should there be any complications the epidural is in place for an emergency c-section. I told the doctor that I didn't think I would need an epidural (because I had watched so many videos on YouTube and no one appeared to be in much pain). She told me that if there was an emergency and I didn't have the epidural then I would have to be under general anesthesia for the c-section and my husband would not be able to be in the room. So, I agreed to the epidural. Although I'm all for epidurals, I have the feeling of them putting it in my back. The pain isn't that bad, it's the weird feeling in my back when they are trying to get the epidural in the correct place.
The day of the version came and the whole thing was done in triage, thankfully it wasn't too busy in there. I had to have 1 bag of fluids because I was getting an epidural and I had to have an IV and blood drawn to check platelet levels. The whole process was way more intense than I thought it was going to be (due to my video watching). I was kind of thankful when it was time for the epidural because my back and hips had been very uncomfortable just sitting in the bed and I had to keep shifting back and forth. The epidural experience was pretty good, but my blood pressure always gets really low after the epidural medicine goes in and that's not a really great feeling. After the epidural was in for 20 minutes or so, the ultrasound tech came in to verify the baby's position and the doctor and her assistant took their positions. By the way, I couldn't believe how many people (ultrasound tech, anesthesiologist, doctor, assistant, and nurse) were in such a small area with curtain walls. Josh got shoved all the way in the corner and I couldn't even hold his hand. The doctor got the head and her assistant had the baby's butt. The pressure was so intense and at that point I was unsure as to why I got the epidural because the pressure was so great. I couldn't imagine there being much pain that was being numbed. At first the baby didn't want to move, so they tried again and finally got him to move. The whole process from ultrasound to the baby being head down took less than 5 minutes. His heart rate must have gone pretty low because they gave me some oxygen and everyone seemed concerned. Of course, no one was really telling my husband and I all of the details. At first, no one but the doctor and her assistant knew he had turned to be head down. I thought there would be cheering, but I think they were more concerned with his heart rate at the time. We were all so excited when we found out he was head down and it only took two tries. I don't think I would have made it through much more.
It's been two days since then and I'm still pretty sore. My belly is super sore and my back is still a little sore from the epidural. So far, I'm thankful I did it, but I'm not 100% sure I'd do it again. The experience was still painful and I think those women on YouTube are totally crazy for just laying there like they are getting a deep tissue massage. Maybe the doctor was more rough with me than those other women, I'm not sure. So far it seems like our little baby is staying head down, but I can't push on my belly too much right now to confirm. If I'm able to have a VBAC this time around then I would say the procedure was absolutely worth it. Right now there's just so much unknown. Since I'm trying to VBAC I have to go into labor on my own and can't really be induced. The idea of just scheduling a c-section seemed very appealing, just because I'm a planner and I would know the time and date of this baby's birth. However the recovery from a c-section with two small children at home would be very difficult, so I'm praying for a VBAC and that I'll go into labor at the perfect time!